The Abominable Mr Tinkler, a curiously offbeat figure attired in lab coat and glasses, has been distilling his own formula for audio mayhem and disrupting dance floors since the early 2000s.
Expanding from his early days of creating music with a large table overflowing with apparatus, drum machines, turntables that look like breeze blocks, kitchen appliances and the infamous “Snake Mountain”, to include the more modernist approach of computers, MIDI devices and other assorted gizmos with flashing lights; Tinkler never lets the machines dictate the results, remaining always inventive.
Brought forth from a need to experiment in more genres than there are available hours, The Abominable Mr Tinkler was a method to condense a multitude of musical styles into an effective auditory compound, diverse and difficult to pigeonhole. Wayward rhythms open up with repeated listening to reveal a complex labyrinth of sound. Textures, tempo changes and an unorthodox, almost jazz-like approach are concealed within layers of digital distortion and low resolution frequency deterioration, the resulting compositions garnering such entertainingly awkward descriptions as, “A scattered, neo-jazz plunderphonic noise-grind extravaganza” or “Caffeine-impelled multiple sound degradation and sonic obliteration, coupled with frantically spasmodic beats“.
Born in London and residing in Essex, Pete Ravan, in his Tinkler guise has regularly performed in national experimental music hotspots such as London and Brighton. Often joined live in the early days by his old partner in crime, Tom Berry of Chau Project, Tinkler received rave reviews in various newspapers and internet forums, opening for acts such as Max Tundra and Cobra Killer with a bizarre and cavalier approach to performance which helped to breathe life into what was to become a burgeoning Essex electronic music scene.
Tinkler has a penchant for the more unconventional venue – be it an old high street butcher’s shop playing through a DIY public address system, a silent disco aboard a barge on the Thames, an art gallery or a converted church. It’s safe to say everyone in attendance will remember the performance in a huge two-storey laser tag centre, the participating audience caught in a hail of sonic shards and distorted heart-pumping rhythms whilst they ran around the maze attacking each other like noise-induced rats.
Tinkler’s output has a tendency for the dynamic, and fluctuates between spazzed out fragmented beats, lush ambient pads, peculiar cartoonish sound bytes and everything in between. His genre-hopping outlandishness has put him at home on bills alongside such acts as Melt Banana, Squarepusher, Consumer Electronics, Shitmat, Goodiepal and many more.
The Abominable Mr Tinkler has released music, both physical and online through several labels including Love Love Records, Bad Sekta, Front & Follow, El Perro Rojo, and Digital Vomit. He has had material and sessions broadcast on stations such as Resonance FM, ILL FM Pitchless and ICR FM, and has worked on multi-media and film scoring projects which have been exhibited in the UK and internationally.
Photo credits: top: Mariya Ustymenko; above: Jeff Scott